No matter how long I speak about ending Teen Dating violence and ending Domestic violence in all it’s forms, I keep coming back to education.

Education is key.

Are you an educator?  (BTW – The correct answer is yes.)  If you have a mouth…you have the ability to educate. If you can communicate…you can educate!

Here’s something that happened to me while I was talking to incoming freshman at a local high school:

A woman came up to me at a back to school night the other day and broke into tears when she saw the club I was representing. She hugged me and then wiped off her mascarra running down her cheeks. She explained that her husband brutally beat her for many years until one day he was arrested and ordered to go to a class that taught men how not to be the men that society tells them they have to be. This was back in the early 90’s. When he got out of the classes he apologized and said he never knew that this power and control struggle was not the right thing to do. He never realized that this was not how a relationship was suppose to work. She told me that maybe if there were classes and clubs and awareness like this going on back then, there’d be a lot less violence and beatings in the world. Her husband died of cancer a year later and she said it was the best year of their marriage. She wanted me to remember one thing: “Many of the abusers of the world are just little people who have never been taught the right thing and have never been made aware of it. The more education and awareness about what a good relationship is, will save millions.” Then she said thank you and walked away.

Could education be this powerful?  Could this woman and this man have had a wonderful marriage if he had been taught something earlier in his life…well the answer is simply: YES!

To many of us the violence we see on a day to day basis is simply wrong.  We have a very hard time trying to understand why someone would commit these senseless acts of violence. Then when they bring these violent actions into the home in front of the kids and everyone else who shares the home, we think this is atrocious and horrible.  How could this person not see that it was obviously wrong?

Because when you see your uncle doing it, your grand pa doing it, your dad doing it, your brother doing it, your neighbor doing it, your teacher doing it, your role models doing it, and every TV show you turn on says that it’s ok….suddenly it makes sense that it must be ok. This is the anatomy of socialization and only EDUCATION will change that and turn it around.

How are you educating the young people around you?

Opt 4 more education.

Opt 4 showing boys that they don’t have to be like that.

Opt 4 showing girls that they don’t have to be as violent as everyone else.